Get Serious About Prayer

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Read Genesis 32:9-12

Here we find the 1st recorded prayer in the Bible. Sure we have instances where Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and others have spoken to God, but this is the first recorded prayer, which makes this passage significant.

Any time in your Bible study that you come across the 1st instance of something; you should take note.

Five things to notice about Jacobs prayer:

1) How he approached God:

He did not just approach God as the creator but as his Personal God.  He appealed to God on the grounds of a secure relationship with him.

According to 1 John 5:13, and Romans 5:8-9;  we too can feel secure in our personal relationship with God. (If we have accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior)

2) How he put his trust in Gods Word:

Jacob pleaded a definite promise. There are definite promises that the believer can cling on to:

  • Grace to go through trials: 2 Corinthians 12:9 (Don’t be deceived; as a Christian you will go through trials)
  • Needs Supplied: Philippians 4:19 (Notice that this verse does NOT even mention your wants.. There is a difference)
  • All things will work together for good: Romans 8:28 (This verse does NOT promise that all things will be good, but that all things will “work together “for good)

3) How he confesses his unworthiness

We must all come to God in Humility; See James 4:6. The Bible teaches us in 1 Peter 5:6 that if we humble ourselves (you never want to ask God to humble you), then he will exalt us.  Instead of “fighting for our rights” we need to realize that we are not worthy of any of the good that we receive (Romans 12:3). We must understand the fact that we need to confess our sins to the Lord on a daily basis. 1 John 1:8-2:2 plainly shows us this need.

4) How he asks for deliverance:

We must admit that we can’t deliver ourselves: See Titus 3:5-6, Galatians 1:3-4. Notice that Jacob waited until verse 9 before he decided to go to the Lord in Prayer.  Unfortunately, we as Christians act the same way.  All too often Prayer is viewed as a last resort;  instead of our first wave of defense.  Somehow we think that we should only “bother” God when everything else fails.  Nothing could be farther from the truth; Prayer is an essential piece of our two-way communication with God, and since he is to be our Lord; it is only reasonable that we would look to him for the instructions that we need to navigate through this life.

5) How he prayed according to Gods will:

If God was to fulfill his promise (Genesis 28:12-15) and be glorified, then Jacobs family had to survive; therefore, it would appear that it was Gods will for them to survive. See 1 John 5:14-15. Verse 15 is often quoted without including the preceding verse, which gives this promise its context.  We will receive the petitions that we ask of him “IF” we ask according to HIS will.

Prayer Is Important

In the light of 1 Timothy 2:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Luke 18:1, and Psalms 55:17; it’s clear that God wants and expects us to pray daily.  We have to come to the realization that we are incapable of handling anything on our own (John 15:5).  Just as it was with Jacob in Genesis 32: 1-8, we need to stop trying to handle our problems, issues, and concerns on our own and turn to the one who already has all the answers.  As Jesus said in Matthew 7:9-11: 7,  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8, For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9, Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10, Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11, If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? 


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